Saturday, November 3, 2018

The Why Is Always Better Than The What

by Sylvia Gaston

I’m in the business of teaching kids. I teach my own big kids, my grandkids, as well as the kids who attend our church.  Well, actually, our wonderful Children’s Ministry volunteers teach them. My co-workers and I provide them with the resources to do the teaching.

I have had many opportunities to speak to lots of adults as well. And in all that teaching, here’s one important thing I’ve learned…

The WHY is always better than the WHAT.

When I tell my kids something, they often view it as another thing in a long line of things I am constantly telling them. But, if I take the time to explain why they should do this or that, they have a greater motivation to do the what, - or, at least, a greater understanding of it. They may not always agree with it, but at least they know why I am asking it. And our goal, as their parents, is that someday they will learn, mature, and eventually pass on all of our great wisdom to their own children.  That’s the dream, at least ☺

If I take my lead from God, I see that He and His son, Jesus, spend a great deal of time explaining the why. He spends time letting us know that the reason why He teaches or even commands us at times, is for our own good.

Here are some examples of how He taught the WHY:

In Deuteronomy 12:28  of the Bible, God says, “Be careful to obey all these regulations I am giving you, so that it may always go well with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is good and right”.

In Ephesians 6:7 we are told to: “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do”.

Jesus even tells us WHY we should follow Him. “Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. "For my yoke is easy, and my load is light.” –Matthew 11:28-30

You see it isn’t God’s heart to command us simply to rule us. That is made obvious by the fact that we don’t have to obey Him. When He created us, He gave us free will. However, He did create us – and in His own image. Therefore, He knows us intimately well. And because He loves us so very much, He always wants what is best for us. That is the motive behind His teaching and His guidance – if we choose to heed it.

People are listening to you – at work, at home, on social media. Are you barking out orders and commands left and right without giving any reasons WHY? That’s not caring about people and relationships; that’s merely a focus on outcomes.

The bottom line is that God commands because He truly loves. So if we are to be effective in our teaching of others, we need to be motivated by that same kind of love for them.

That’s fairly easy to do with our children because we naturally love them so much. But, how does that look if you are teaching and leading others – other children or adults, co-workers, family or friends?

If we are motivated by love, we should want to explain WHY our teaching is important to them. They should know and feel our motive. They may listen more to the WHAT because they know the all-important WHY. 

This is especially true, and especially important if you are a parent, a boss, or a person of influence in your circles. 

Don’t just tell people what to do, explain the WHY.

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